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There are a lot of things we can put in a notebooking. One of the most common work is narration. Narration is the first step for children to start the notebooking page activities in the grammar stage of the classical education or in the early elementary grades and kindergarten. Starting narration for Notebooking is an unforgettable memory. If you haven’t been familiar with narration, I would like to reword it as the process of retelling or analyzing about what we have got from a story or a passage of information.
Getting my sons to do written narration is not easy as I wrote in a long time ago postings. It needs a lot of patience and perseverance. If you have such kind of experience, then it is normal. Leaving kids just doing narration while we are busy is not an effective way to do the narration. I mean, it is rare for kids to be able to show their maximum power in their intelligence just by asking them to write what they know about what they have read. It is very lucky if you have such kind of responsible kids. For kids that have not been ready to write, it is better for parents to record either by voice or handwriting. Get kids enjoy narration rather than being stress when they have to write. Even I still write for my sons, especially the second one, so he will be able to show off all information and thought inside his mind with his best. In this case, I emphasize the quality and quantity of the content. Once my eldest son started to be familiar with narration and notebooking, he became more independent.
Prompts for Starting Narration for Notebooking
Today I would like to share about some prompts and instructions that we can use to get the kids do the narration and notebooking further.
- Write or mention 5 (appropriate number based on kids’s capability) important things which happen or are informed in the story. Each sentence should have at least …. Words. This is a very simple task or a basic task for kids to do.
- For some difficult words or some unfamiliar terms, I use to write the words on the white board and ask kids to write their own sentences about that words. One term can have more than one sentence to explain.
- Giving a layout of a writing for kids to get their oral narration or notebooking more structured is usually a nice tool for kids so that they will be more confident. The layout might include what they can mention or write on the first part or paragraph, the second, etc.
- To get kids speak up, i sometimes “hook” them with some related questions before they start their narration or (story telling) about the material. It can be with:
1. What is the subject or who is the characters of the information/story? (Subject question)
2. What do(es) the character(s) do? Or what happen to the subject? (Action question)
3. Why does it happen? (Reason question)
4. How does it happen? Or how is the problem solved? (Process question can use some conjunction prompt to get kids used to other conjunction than “then” or “after that”)
5. When and where does it happen? (Adverbial questions)
6. What happen at the end? (Result question)
7. What is the message of the story? What does the writer or the story want to tell the readers? What theory, formula or conclusion we can get from the story or information or process? (Concluding questions)
8. How is the problem related/contrasted/compared to something else (other character/story/topic or recent/modern/daily/historical life)? (Relationship questions)
- Draw and color pictures related to the information or story will be another alternative for those who struggle with writing. Usually they can explain their pictures using their own words. The essence of this activity is similar with oral narration. It is a matter of presentation. Getting kids coloring pictures with certain requirements can give them more enthusiasm
- In the form of either drawing or writing, using the beginning or the start of a story or information, kids can find the missing links in between. It can form a timeline or a story board telling the sequence of the events.
- Writing or recalling definitions can be done in stock cards. Letting kids to dictate or write definition by themselves will make them enjoy their topic better. Giving some flashcard games like memory game will give the time more fun.
- Writing a publication like magazine, newspaper, bulletin board, and newsletter will make kids retell their “story” or explanation
- Writing or pretending having interview session with the character, inventor, or related occupation of the story, invention, process, etc will make kids describe the topic.
- Narration or retelling story or information from a notetaking scratch will give more clue for kids so they can practice their notetaking skill together with the narration process.
After the Narration
When kids have finished their narration draft, they might reread the draft very carefully. Grammatical correction needs to be done before or during the rereading or writing down their work. Getting kids writing down the draft to make a good copy will get them respect their own work. However, I would like to suggest that this writing down activity should not be a burden for kids. Helping kids in this process will make them enjoy the activity much better.
What other instructions that you have in your homeschooling narration process? Please share with us together here.
We also have just published our collection of 100+ Notebooking Page Templates with more affordable and rich resources for you to make the notebooking activities more enjoyable and variable. You should consider the collection to get yourself easier in the notebooking preparation and to give kids more choice of creativities.
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